Romani houses destroyed in Bosnia

15 July 1999

Local authorities destroyed ten Romani houses in Modriča, northern Bosnia, in order to build sports grounds, the Sarajevo-based Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina reported on May 1. The houses were located between a football field and a sports hall, and were all legally built. Modriča is a municipality in the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina - the owners of the destroyed houses were displaced from the region during the war and now live in the towns of Gradačac, Sarajevo and Zenica in the Bosniak-Croat governed part of the country. The owners of the houses were neither informed nor provided with legal documents authorising the destruction before it took place. The authorities have not compensated the Roma for their houses and land. In relation to this problem, a representative of a Bosniak political party raised an objection at a meeting of the Modriča municipal authorities, to which the authorities in charge failed to respond and instead sped up work on the sports grounds.

(Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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